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Ontario Announces Plans to Overhaul Gambling Industry


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The Canadian province of Ontario has announced its intention to overhaul its
gambling industry over the next six years, with the objective of increasing its
gambling revenues by over CAD$1 billion, while creating as many as 6,000 new
jobs.

The overhaul is being spearheaded by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
(OLG), which has already submitted proposals to the government that include
terminating the ‘Slots at Racetracks’ programme, constructing a new land casino,
growing lottery retail ticket sales and expanding Ontario’s online gambling
interests
.

Reforms Expected to Modernise Gambling in Ontario

Read a statement from Ontario’s ministry of finance: ‘With internet-based gaming
growing, a higher Canadian dollar and U.S. border communities building their own
gaming sites, our gaming system has to change. These reforms will modernise
gaming in Ontario by allowing safe, responsible access to gaming opportunities.’

The proposed OLG online gambling site is expected to go live sometime in 2013.

In terms of Ontario’s Slots at Racetracks programme, despite the fact that since
1998 it has contributed over $3.4 billion in slots revenue to the province’s
horse racing industry, the programme has hampered OLG’s ability to establish
slot facilities as per the player demand, resulting in gaming facilities in poor
demographic settings.

As a result, if the OLG gets its way, the Slots at Racetracks programme will be
ended by March 31st 2013, which will open the way for slots facilities to be
more strategically located in the province. However, slots will be available at
those Ontario racetracks where there is still a high customer demand for the
games.

Plans to Increase Number of Ontario Lottery Terminal
Sites

In addition, OLG is proposing to shift some of its lottery day-to-day operations
to the private sector via a highly competitive procurement process, as well as
grow the number of lottery terminal sites situated in major retail outlets
across the province, including in supermarkets.

Continued the statement from
the ministry of finance: ‘Other jurisdictions have expanded lottery ticket sales
by allowing for sales on the internet and across all lanes in grocery stores. As
such, convenience stores will continue to play an important role in the
distribution of lottery in the province.’

OLG is also pushing for the construction of a new casino in Toronto, the
capital of Ontario, as well as the revamping of many existing gambling sites and
the establishment of new gaming zones.

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